Club and community events keep kids keen

  • Otago
  • 28/11/2023

Club and community events keep kids keen

Pictured: Charlie Baumgren (10), with mum and dad Jenny and Nick, was grinning from ear to ear after catching this 2.5kg rainbow trout near Wānaka. Photo: Mason Court, Otago Fish & Game

Despite tangles galore, more than 160 children are hooked into fishing after three weekend events run by angling clubs and community groups in the region on Sunday, November 26. 

Wānaka brothers Charlie (10) and George (12) Baumgren had to be prised from the water’s edge at the end of the day, their parents Nick and Jenny said.

The boys were among 31 children at a Take A Kid Fishing event organised by Upper Clutha Angling Club and supported by Otago Fish & Game on the outskirts of Wānaka.

The brothers each reeled in a 2.5kg rainbow trout.

Charlie said he was going to have his fish on the barbecue for dinner that night.

Upper Clutha Angling Club vice-president and event organiser Nick Nicholson said the weather was sunny and hot with hardly a breeze.

“It made for a great day for the children,” Mr Nickolson said. “Unfortunately the conditions were probably too warm in the pond and the fish were hard to catch.”

The children registered from three Wānaka primary schools for the Upper Clutha event, and the largest fish caught weighed more than 3kg.

Two other Take A Kid Fishing events were held at Roxburgh East and Macraes.

Ninety-five children got a taste of fishing at a community event run by OceanaGold at Lone Pine Reservoir, next to Macraes trout hatchery. At least a dozen fish were caught at the event.

Teviot Angling Club held a children’s fishing event near Roxburgh East where more than 40 youngsters took part, club president Laurie Crossan said.

“It was a warm, lovely day and all the fish were caught by about 10am before they went a bit quiet,” Mr Crossan said.

“The largest fish weighed 6.3 pounds [2.8kg] and was caught by a 5-year-old. He got a bit of a shock when he saw how big it was.”

Otago Fish & Game released rainbow trout from Macraes hatchery into selected ponds that had no natural recruitment and did not mix with wild trout populations.

“Seeing the excitement on children’s faces at these events, they’ll remember these moments for a long time,” Fish & Game officer Mason Court said.

“We’re all for kids spending more time outdoors with their whanau and friends this season, connecting with nature and catching a tasty trout.”

Anglers were required to have a current season licence for freshwater sports fishing for trout, salmon and perch, Mr Court said.

Fishing licences for children under the age of 12 are free.

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